Friday, July 31, 2009

Money Talk

I met with my husband this morning about our finances. I didn't really see the point of the meeting because we have the same expenses we have and we have already cut them down as much as can be cut. But he apparently wanted to ask me about a divorce so we talked about that too.

He told me that he wanted me to be able to stay with the kids but I'd have to get a job. He also told me he'd give me so much per month until the divorce went through but then a judge would just go off a matrix to determine my support payments and I wouldn't get very much money. Again, all stuff I know.

I get exhausted by discussing the same things over and over again. Just talk, make a decision and move on.

He keeps asking me the same questions over and over.

Once again the kids take the brunt of his bad decisions. They always take it. He and his family can talk 'til the cows come home about all their BS AA rhetoric about making amends and doing the next right thing. By their actions, they don't give a damn about these kids.

He also talked about my secret online life. I reminded him that I had used a pen name to protect his and his dad's anonymity. He told me I could use my real name. I guess his and his family's actions are not embarrassing to them.

Tuition for my sons school is due Monday. (At least the first payment.) We shall see what happens. I don't have high hopes for anything anymore. I asked my son this morning, theoretically, how he would feel about going to the Muslim School instead and he teared up. Very depressing to see that but that has always been my back up plan. He needs the small school environment and I know they would watch him carefully. I want him to stay in the same school once he starts. And I don't know where we will end up living. So whatever happens now I'm at peace with it. I have done my part and it's in God's hands now.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. --Jeremiah 29:11

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Some Things...

My husband just left after another long and exhausting evening.

I don't know why I keep cooking dinner for him. It burns me up. He shits all over me and I make him dinner. But that is just something about me. I always try to be hospitable. And I do it for my children, not for him.

I think having dinner as a family is important. I grew up that way. It's just something you do.

But inside, while I enjoy the cooking (I do LOVE to cook), I am burning up. I just keep thinking he does not deserve this.

So my husband has sent me 6 texts already since he left and the last one said, "You HATE me!!!! I am an idiot!!! I'm sorry I hurt you so bad, and you will never let me make it up to you!"

I told him, "Some things you can't make up up for. You just don't do them."

Reading the Bible

This morning I had a total meltdown. Last night, the dog barfed all over the place, my daughter continually is pooping and peeing her pants and nothing else seemed to be going right. But I managed. We went to bed and I slept.

It's funny how some days you can take it all and other days you just can't.

But I woke up this morning to the same stuff, and then my daughter said to me, "Does your dad do crack?"

I looked at her and was like, "WHAT??!!"

She smiled and said, "Crack. Drugs."

I asked her where she heard that and she said her dad told her.

I told her my dad does not do drugs. I left it at that.

When I repeated the story to my husband, first he thought it was funny and then he gave me a lecture. And then I lost it.

Who is he to give me a lecture about anything? Where has he been? I was supposed to be on my Vegas Vacation this week, that he bought me for my birthday. But I didn't go. I can't leave my kids now. They are a mess. And there is barely money to pay our bills so it seems insane to me to go anywhere. But that didn't stop him from going to San Francisco for the weekend with his buddies. And I told him, "If anyone should be going on vacation right now, its me." I am beyond exhausted from dealing with all this crap.

But I'm just gonna have to suck it up.

In the midst of all that, my son let the dog out, who desperately needed to be groomed, and we had to look for him for 15 minutes that we didn't have and I just started crying.

So it seems that sucking it up isn't working, but I'm trying.

I got on my husband's case about spying on me and he acted like he didn't know what I was talking about. He said he just happened to be driving by when I got home on Sunday, which is probably the most insulting lie he has ever told me.

Then he said that he doesn't read the blog anymore and I told him he did last week. At this point, I don't care.

He sent me this ridiculous Bible verse today: "A friend loves at all times. Proverbs 17:17" A few texts after he told me to "Get off my fucking back!!!!"

Why is he sending that to me? Look at yourself! And since when does he read the Bible? Seems to me he's too busy reading my blog!

No Refuge

I haven't felt like writing. Thank you for all the calls, emails and texts. I'm ok. There's just something different when your deepest thoughts are being exploited by someone else. There's no refuge in the blog anymore.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Guide My Path

Whenever I am really stresed, I listen to one of my dad's CD's. This is a song he wrote in the 70s that I grew up listening to, and I like what it has to say.

"Guide My Path"

I stand in all my weakness, asking for your strength
And with my many problems, I ask You for your grace
Lord show me what’s right. Guide my path with light.
Take me in your mighty hands, guide me on my way

When my load is heavy, won’t you lighten it for me
And when I go astray from you, Lord help me to see
Lord show me what’s right. Guide my path with light.
Take me in your mighty hands, guide me on my way

When my life is over, I hope it can be said
I did my best to live as you, knowing for me you bled
Lord show me what’s right. Guide my path with light.
Take me in your mighty hands, guide me on my way


I feel like I am drowning in the middle of a giant ocean. And instead of letting me swim to safety or finding some solution, my husband is just choking me. I feel like he is trying to say he is helping me, but instead he just has his hands around my neck, strangling me and pushing me back into the water.

Communication Exercises

I woke up to 3 emails from my husband this morning. One asking me to be his friend on Facebook, another message on Facebook, and this one.

I have been reviewing some notes I took on how to be more effective with our communication. Some from my counselor and some from Tom & Ann.

I really liked some of the exercises that Tom & Ann gave us to do. Maybe, we could try some of them again?

It also got me thinking about filters, and we both seem to have them, I think everybody does. Either way, we say things to each other and the other person hears something completely different.

One of the exercises is "so, what I hear you saying is....". I think that this would be an excellent time for us to begin communicating this way with each other. I think that sometimes even written words for us can be misinterpreted, or heard incorrectly. I often review our text conversations to see if I have been clear with my message. Anyhow, these were just a few thoughts that I had, and I wanted to share them with you.

Let me know your thoughts?





I think your communication was pretty clear on Sunday when you called me a slut again and again and again. Your body language was also VERY clear.

It's going to take a long time for me to get past that.

You need to back off. I received 3 emails, 57 texts, and 5 phone calls from you yesterday, after you repeatedly told me you were going to give me some space. I realize there are some things we need to talk about, but that's just too much right now.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Get over it...

Now I'm getting pissed.

After everything that my husband has put me and my kids through these last 7 years, he thinks he is entitled to harass me. He thinks I should feel bad. He thinks that it's my fault. Everything is always my fault.

His Felony conviction. His having to do community service. His lashing out at me yesterday. His relapse. His having to live somewhere else. Everything is always my fault.

And I just wonder when he will grow up, be a man, and leave it alone.

We are separated. And we are separated because of his actions.

All day long he has been calling and texting me. And I'm fucking tired of it. I'm not the one who fucked up here. I'm tired of hearing how hard this is for him.

The last seven years have been hard for me. All of them.

So, as he has repeatedly told me, GET OVER IT!!!!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Today, I'm a "slut"

I went to Seattle last night for my sister's 25th birthday. As I was getting out of the car once I got home, I saw my husband pulling up behind. He must have been either circling the house or waiting up the street where I could not see him. He started screaming and yelling at me.

First he asked how my time was and I said it was good. He asked who I went with and I said my sisters. He said who else. I told him it was none of his business. We are separated. He kept screaming and calling me a fucking slut and a liar and I was embarrassed so I unlocked the door and went into the house.

He followed me in and became more and more irate. He was shaking violently. He kept saying, was it good, was it good? Just tell me and I will leave you alone forever.

I told him I wasn't going to tell him anything.

He said, I hope he had a big cock. Did he have a big cock? He grabbed my crotch and started yelling, did he put it in there. He was backing me into the wall, still shaking and totally scary. He grabbed my butt and pulled me and said, did he grab your ass like that?

I told him he needed to calm down. He asked me, aren't you ashamed of yourself. He must have called me a slut 100 times. I told him you are not in any position to judge anything I do. We are separated. You cheated on me with at least 3 women while we were together.

I told him I was going to call the police but I couldn't get to my phone.

Then I told him that all the neighbors had heard him and he needed to go because he already had a Felony Conviction and if the police were called he would be in trouble.

He finally left, shaking and angry.

He came back to the door and said he wanted his car back, but I said no.

Then he left. He sent me a text telling me he wanted a divorce.

I'm just glad the kids weren't here.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Getting Nasty

Things seem to be taking a nasty turn with my husband. I feel really worn out physically and emotionally. My mom took the kids so I could sleep this morning and he kept calling and texting me. He's becoming very demanding and making a lot of accusations.

I keep telling him that he needs to do what the AA leader told him to do and start keeping his word to me. He just doesn't seem to get that. He thinks if he just keeps pushing me harder and harder, I will just give in. And we are not at that point. I don't know that that would work for anyone, at any point.

I told him this morning that I felt like he had a stronghold around my neck. He took offense to that and said he was just going to let me go. I reminded him that he was acting like his dad, and he should know how that feels. It doesn't feel good. It feels so constricting.

I told him I need some space this weekend. My mom is going to keep the kids a bit longer and let me breathe. I just feel so tired.

I don't know how we got to this place where we are just so terrible to each other. I thought a separation would help, but it just seems like things are worse.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Damn! I mean, thank you!

I went to my Alanon meeting today and it was helpful. It made me realize that I have a lot of things in common with the other people in my situation. The inability to trust that God will take care of me. Hating change. Wanting to just stay in the dark instead of fixing things.

There was also a woman who spoke about her favorite 5-word Prayer. Damn! I mean, thank you! I really liked that.

Reading the Blog

I have been hesitant to write because I am tired of having what I write come back to me from my husband and thrown back in my face based on his interpretations. I think I have been clear with him and I think what I write has been clear and honest. But it seems like my husband manipulates and distorts things to how he wants to hear them. This blog is about my reality. Not his.

He asked about the AA leader reading my blog yesterday and I said I don't care if he reads it. He can read it if he wants to. He said something about how I am so harsh and hateful towards him. I think I just write how I feel and that I am entitled to my feelings. I think I am entitled to an outlet and that I went out of my way to be discreet and anonymous and he went out of his way to find it and read it even after he promised he wouldn't.

And then he wonders why I don't trust him.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

"There is a time in every man's [or woman's] education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better for worse as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My Dear Zora

"I have been in Sorrow's kitchen and licked out all the pots. Then I have stood on the peaky mountain wrapped in rainbows, with a harp and a sword in my hands."
- Zora Neale Hurston

I've thought about that quote a lot lately and here's the thing. I've read enough and seen enough of the world to know that, often, there are no happy endings. A happy ending is an American idea, and it doesn't work out for a lot of people, including Zora.

When I was sitting with L the other day talking about life and all that has happened with my husband these last 7 years, she said, I can't believe that. After all of this and all you've sacrificed that this is how it is going to turn out. This is America!!!

I told her that that meant nothing.

She said she knew it wasn't going to work between my husband and I the day after our son came home from the hospital. There I was, having just birthed a baby that would not stop crying whatever I tried. I called my husband again and again but he was AWOL. Finally sometime after midnight I was desperate. I called my ex-husband and L, who lived down the street at the time. Lebanese are very family-oriented so I knew they would know what to do. They had both been around babies all their lives.

It wad bad gas. And they were able to help me finally get the baby down. They stayed there with me until he was calm and asleep and I was OK. (Well into the early hours of the morning.) I didn't hear from my husband until sometime the next day.

He brought me a Tiffany Charm Bracelet, engraved with our son's name and birthdate. As if that would make up for it. I can never bear to wear that bracelet. I'm saving it for my son's future wife, as a promise, that I will always be there for her and for their marriage, no matter what.

She told me she will never forget that time. Neither will I.

As I was saying sometimes there is just no happy ending. Even with everything we put in to make it so.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Reader

It is official. My husband has been reading the blog. He admitted it tonight at dinner. The story about the single dad at the park got to him.

One more broken promise.

Not surprising. Just one more.

Prayer Flags

We headed to church yesterday after a few weeks off from our beach and camping trips. I'm very glad we did because we had a special service where we all created prayer flags.

They team up all the kids with elderly people in the church so they all have a special friend called a Grand-Friend. My son's Grand-Friend was out of town, so they teamed him up with another woman. My daughter is too young for this program, so we went to sit with them and we made our flags. She was a lovely woman who had recently moved here with her husband from the Bay Area. We had a very nice talk about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and many, many books. I have just finished re-reading A Farewell to Arms, and I had forgotten how good (and funny and sad) parts of it were. There were also a lot of good quotes on war. "There is a class that controls a country that is stupid and does not realize anything and never can. That is why we have this war."

We talked about the book and some of the other books I have for the kids, one being Why War is Never a Good Idea by Alice Walker. She has grandkids so she wanted to check them out.

She did a flag for peace. My son did two flags. One said, "Dear God, thank you for the Earth and for food." The other read, "Dear God, thank you for our bodies and fun."

My daughter scribbled on three and asked me to write "Daddy" on them.

Afterwards we put all the flags together on a long string and hung them up outside. We said a special prayer together and went back into the sanctuary to finish the service.

We took a look at the vegetable garden and could not believe how big some of them had gotten! The cucumbers were enormous! It is looking more and more like a real garden. The vegetable garden is a project the kids have worked on to benefit the food bank at our church.

My dad came over to take my son on a bike ride, and my daughter and I had a quiet afternoon.

Yesterday was a hard day for me. I have not been sleeping well, so I don't think that's been helping. Sometimes I can just forget about everything and enjoy my life in spite of it, and other days everything just hits me hard.

When we talked about the different kinds of prayer in church, all the kids said what they did when they prayed. Most of them talked about praying with their fathers. Somehow that just hit me. I have a lot of memories of praying with my dad. We always said grace before meals and he came and said a prayer with me every night before bed. It just made me really sad.

The kids had wanted to call their dad in the morning, but he didn't answer. They tried a few times and then I sent him a text letting him know they were trying to call him. No response all day. I texted him again in the early evening and was like, are you planning to talk to your kids today? Finally he called around 7 and couldn't understand why I wasn't thrilled. I told him it wasn't just not talking to him today, they hadn't seen him all week. He started with the excuses, and I told him that he didn't see them break down over it and he had no idea what it was like. He said I need to be more supportive of him. I told him I was as supportive of him as I could be right now. He's still in San Francisco with his friends.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Piss on the Seat

My husband ended up going to San Francisco with his friends until Monday. For a guy who says he is working hard and has so much to do at work, I don't understand missing Friday and most of Monday at work, especially after moving last week. His idea of working hard is entirely different than mine is.

In any case, the kids and I have had a wonderful weekend. The end of July has a lot of special birthdays for me. Two of my sisters and two of my best friends have birthdays. So I spent Friday celebrating with one of my oldest friends. And Saturday we spent the entire day and evening with my ex-husband's wife, L, and all of our kids. Both were just wonderful days.

L is also Lebanese, and her nephew was there with her too. He is only 12 but I kept thinking he is already such a man. He never needed to be reprimanded. He was always polite and grateful. He helped with the other 4 young kids without ever being asked. He works in their donut store several days a week. I think this is a big part of it. I worked from a young age as well. I had mixed feelings about whether I would want this for my children, but after spending the day with him, I think it is the right away to go. My husband's family has such a problem with entitlement. This boy had none of that. I told him at the end of the day how proud I am of him. I've known him since he was a baby and he has grown up to be just an amazing man. And yes, he still sorta looks like a boy, but I don't think I could describe him that way.

There were a lot of things I thought about yesterday. We went to both a water park and a pool that they go to. Funny enough, I have not been to a public pool for a long time. We belong to that Country Club and go there or to our gym, which is also very nice. I had forgotten how real bodies look, with real boobs and everything else. I'm used to see women with "perfect" bodies, in cover ups because they don't think their bodies are perfect enough. At this pool, I think I was the only one with a cover up, and it didn't stay on long. People were in the water and splashing around. They were having fun. No one cared what anyone else was wearing or about saying the right thing to the right person. They were just enjoying themselves.

Several of my friends have wondered about how I could belong to a Country Club. They say it just doesn't seem like me. But yesterday I realized that I have just gotten used to it all. And it did seem ridiculous to me.

The only downside to the public pool was the bathroom. I had not seen piss on the toilet seat for a very long time. The bathrooms at the club are always clean. But I thought, I'd rather wipe the piss off the seat myself than have my husband and his family piss all over me for the rest of my life.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

"I Never Dreamed You'd Leave In Summer"

I thought Stevie Wonder performed this just beautifully at MJ's memorial service. Just beautiful. I have watched it and listened to him again and agan.

"I Never Dreamed You'd Leave In Summer"

I never dreamed you'd leave in summer
I thought you would go then come back home
I thought the cold would leave by summer
But my quiet nights will be spent alone

You said there would be warm love in springtime
That was when you started to be cold
I never dreamed you'd leave in summer
But now I find myself all alone

You said then you'd be the life in autumn
Said you'd be the one to see the way
I never dreamed you'd leave in summer
But now I find my love has gone away

Why didn't you stay?

-Stevie Wonder

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Park

I rarely let myself cry anymore. It's something I've learned. Sometimes you start and you can't stop.

But last night, my kids broke my heart.

They haven't seen their dad since Sunday afternoon. Tuesday he said e couldn't come because he was moving. Tonight he promised our son he would be here at 5:30, then 6PM. My kids get antsy when they don't see their dad. They don't want to talk to him on the phone. They get restless. My son kept asking me if his dad was coming and like a fool I said yes. So did his dad.

At 4pm he called and he was still about 2 hours away by car and had several more meetings. I asked him then if he'd still make it and he said yes. But I stopped telling my son he would come. I made a nice dinner like I do nearly every night. A little after 6 he called and said he still had not even left his previous location. And once again, he had not gone to the bank.

We finished dinner and I told the kids their dad wasn't going to make it. They were noticeably upset so I told them we could walk down to the park. They love to go there. They've been going to bed early and I knew they were tired but I didn't see any other way to break their sadness. So I did the dishes and we left.

On the way my son asked me if his Grandpa was still coming to take him on a bike ride on Sunday. I told him he would. He asked, how come my dad doesn't always do what he says he's gonna do but Grandpa B always does? I told him that if his dad didn't keep his word that was about his dad and not about him. I told him he could always count on his grandpa though and that he should always keep his word and do the things he says he will do.

We went to the park and saw a single dad that we had seen down there every night last year. He used to be very good to the kids, playing catch with my son, including the kids in all the things he did with his own two boys, and letting us play with his big fur-ball dog. I felt close to him in a strange way because I felt that we were both very alone with our children.

We have gotten out of the habit to go every night, but last summer, we went every night after dinner. It saddened me because last year, this dad was alone and this year he was there with a new girlfriend. But I am still alone, in the same situation. Last year, my husband was at rehab and this man was always friendly with me, but I never got too close to him. I was keeping myself for nothing. For this. For all this shit.

But the park was good for the kids. They ran around with the other kids there, played tag, and pet the big fur-ball dog again.

My daughter had a complete meltdown on the way home. I rocked her to sleep and she still sobbed once she fell asleep in horrible gasps. And I sat there and rocked her and cried until the gasping stopped.

My husband had texted me and asked if he could stop by at 8 and I told him our daughter goes to bed at 7 and you will just wind up the boy. But it didn't keep him from calling again and again and again while I was rocking the girl until our son answered the phone and he woke up our daughter.

So then I had to put her back to sleep again and deal with my son, who was wound up. He asked me to spend some time with him downstairs because he couldn't sleep. And then he asked me to carry him upstairs like a baby to his bed. My big long boy was reduced to a babe tonight. By his selfish father.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Graciousness and Hospitality

Well, as I suspected, the Fourth Wife is not being very gracious at all. My father-in-law had told my husband he could stay at their house as long as he wanted to. The Fourth Wife keeps asking my husband when he is leaving.

Last night, she didn't even offer him dinner. He bought a slice of pizza. I just can't imagine. Even with everything that has happened with my husband, I always offer him dinner. I always make enough for him to have some too. And I even offer him leftovers because I know he could use them. But that is just what people do. There's nothing so special about me. I knew anyone in my family would do the same thing. So would any of my friends. That's just what you do.

When someone is staying at your home, you go out of your way to make them feel comfortable. You put towels out. You wash the sheets. You prepare what they like to eat. You do all of that - because that is just having manners. Especially when it is your husband's child who is staying at your home.

That's the problem with too many marriages and being #4. But even being the Fourth Wife, you'd still think she would do all that.

He made a lot of excuses for her, but there is no excuse. She really makes me sick.

It also reinforces my idea about her that she is completely different when she is alone with someone. When my father-in-law talked about him staying with her, no doubt she was all smiles. When my father-in-law is there, she is still all smiles. But as soon as he leaves, there she is hassling my husband about when he can get out of her house.

And let's be clear. He is downstairs in an area that they don't even use. In a gigantic house. But apparently, it is an inconvenience to her.

Staying at my In-Laws

I think my husband is reading the blog.

He hasn't admitted to it, but that's the feeling I get in talking to him.

In any case, it hasn't changed what I'm willing to write about like I thought it might.

My husband ended up staying at his parents house. I'm not sure how long this will last, but that's where he has been the last few nights. The house is very large, but I imagine it is uncomfortable for him. Neither my father-in-law or the Fourth Wife are gracious people. Even spending an hour in their home is torturous. Everything is just so and they know nothing about hospitality.

I remember the Fourth Wife telling me that she doesn't celebrate holidays because its too much work for the woman. They usually play golf instead. I found it insulting because there I was working, taking care of two kids, a house and everything else - and I ALWAYS go all out for every holiday. So do all the women in my family. All she does is, well, nothing.

Too much work? What else does she have to do?

I imagine he will move on shortly.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


This is the song that my bridesmaids sang and danced to at my wedding. My dear friend, H, sang it just like Aretha, and she ROCKED THE HOUSE - even at a Country Club, she ROCKED THE HOUSE.

And I think the message to my husband was very clear.

But apparently, HE NEVER GOT IT!!


What you want
Baby, I got
what you need
(oo) Do you know I got it?
All I'm askin'
Is for a little respect when you come home (just a little bit)
Hey baby (just a little bit) when you get home
(just a little bit) mister (just a little bit)

I ain't gonna do you wrong while you're gone
Ain't gonna do you wrong (oo) 'cause I don't wanna (oo)
All I'm askin' (oo)
Is for a little respect when you come home (just a little bit)
Baby (just a little bit) when you get home (just a little bit)
Yeah (just a little bit)

I'm about to give you all of my money
And all I'm askin' in return, honey
Is to give me my profits
When you get home (just a, just a, just a, just a)
Yeah baby (just a, just a, just a, just a)
When you get home (just a little bit)
Yeah (just a little bit)

Ooo, your kisses
Sweeter than honey
And guess what?
So is my money
All I want you to do for me
Is give it to me when you get home
Yeah baby
Whip it to me
When you get home, now

Find out what it means to me
Take care, TCB

Oh (sock it to me, sock it to me,
sock it to me, sock it to me)
A little respect (sock it to me, sock it to me,
sock it to me, sock it to me)
Whoa, babe (just a little bit)
A little respect (just a little bit)
I get tired (just a little bit)
Keep on tryin' (just a little bit)
You're runnin' out of foolin' (just a little bit)
And I ain't lyin' (just a little bit)
(re, re, re, re) 'spect
When you come home (re, re, re ,re)
Or you might walk in (respect, just a little bit)
And find out I'm gone (just a little bit)
I got to have (just a little bit)
A little respect (just a little bit)

Meeting with "The Leader"

I wasn't sure what to expect from the AA group since my father-in-law has been so nasty with me. And it is his group. He has been going nearly every Monday night that he is in town for 20 years.

My husband was very pissed off that he didn't get to share the queen-size bed in the motor home with me. The first night the kids fell asleep with me in it. He was pretty childish about it so I decided he should just stay in the other bed the next night too. We haven't slept together regularly in years.

One of his friends asked me if he was sleeping up there and I told him he was. He told me, Good! That's where he deserves to be!

Another friend approached me and asked how I had been doing. He said he had been very worried about me and had been praying for me. He said he'd seen too many women like me become just a shell of who they are from this experience. He asked me how long I was going to do this.

I started to tear up and told him that I felt trapped. We talked about my father-in-law and his money. He was very surprised by the things I told him. He said he didn't know that side of him but I knew what I knew and what I had experienced. It was a very good talk.

Later we met with the group leader. This was who I was most nervous about. He is my father-in-law's sponsor and has known him for over 20 years. I have always respected him because I think he's a straight-shooter and very family-oriented.

He asked me ahead of time if I had agreed to meet with him or of I was forced into it. I told him I wanted to talk with him.

So we left the kids with my brother-in-law and his girlfriend for an hour and a half. (My brother-in-law later told us it was a lot of work. Lol maybe his dad and my husband should take that statement to heart and appreciate what I do all day long!!)

When we sat down with the leader he started by saying that he was not a professional but that he had done this with many people and could probably get through a lot of stuff with us in an hour because he did not need us to come back every week and pay him $150 each time.

Then he turned to my husband and told him he'd been a selfish prick and from what he'd seen from him he just didn't get it.

He told me that he knew about the other women and that I had reason to be angry and not trust my husband. But he also said he had a strong prejudice towards families staying together and that we could overcome that. He said he knew because he and his wife had. That he'd been a cheat and a drunk and she taught him how to be a good father.

He told my husband that he'd really screwed up because he had a pattern of doing the same things over and over and not being honest about things. He did not know about my husband staying out all night long or not coming to our daughter's birthday party. I told him that I did not believe he was sober. My husband said he was. I asked him when his sobriety date was, and he said January (4th, I think?)

He mentioned he had a one-day slip. I said, I don't believe that for a second, and I would bet my life that it was more than one day. I specifically remember him having numerous problems throughout December of last year. Christmas Eve for one. The leader told him that if there was more he needed to be honest about, he was already at the bottom, and it would be better to just get it all out in the open. My husband never admitted to more.

He asked whether I was willing to be intimate with my husband after my husband complained about that not getting any sex. I was like, No way! It seemed like such a crazy question from a 67-year-old man I barely knew. I was chuckling inside my head.

He kept telling my husband that our problems were not financial. They were about his patterns of dishonesty. My husband complained about having to work so hard, and the leader was like, tough luck! He mentioned me working more and I told them both that I have been working, and raising the kids - AND RAISING KIDS IS WORK. If I work more, it will be at the expense of the kids. Everything has already been at the expense of the kids, and me. And I think my husband needs to step-up and fix what HE HAS BROKEN.

He asked me if I could give my husband amnesty. I said, there's amnesty and then there's stupidity. He needs to start showing me something different and then I can perhaps start to trust and forgive him. I asked him, At what cost this would be to me? That's how my dad got cancer, sucking it up and being nice to people who did not deserve it. I'm not willing to do that.

I asked him about his father growing up and he didn't sound that great. But the point I was trying to make is that you learn how to be a man and to have integrity as a child from your parents and since that didn't happen, I didn't see much hope. He said he learned from his wife. I told him I thought men learned from the modeling of other men. I don't really want to be my husband's mommy. I have 2 little kids to raise.

The leader told me he didn't think I'd be able to get over all this for a long time, but that the only hope he saw was if I was able to give my husband amnesty for the past and move forward. He told my husband that this was not a matter of me just sucking it up and taking him back, but that he needed to do things different.

We ended with him summarizing all of it, and then he gave us each a hug. He was a very good man and said he was tired from it. He said he really put a lot into these sessions because he really believes in marriage. Then he was off to the next couple.

Whatever happens, I will always appreciate him taking the time and sitting down with us. I am very pro-marriage, and very pro-family. I think we have gotten too far away from that. But I have also been trying for a very long time, and nothing seems to be different.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Well so much for being a "man".

My husband texted me saying that he hated his life today.

I told him I hoped his day got better.

Then he proceeded to tell me everything that was wrong. He was stuck in traffic. He missed his meeting for work because he had to move. (Um, you knew that last week, why did we go camping all weekend?). The house he was promised has no appliances. (although it is furnished and almost 5,000 sq. ft.) He called the guy and he said just come live with me and my wife. He doesn't want to do that. Another friend offered his house so he could stay there since his renter is moving out and he's living in Australia. He drove there, got stuck in traffic and found the house too dirty...
He's saying Fuck every other word....

Hmmm, sounds like he's awfully picky, ungrateful and unaware of what happens when you stay out all night an don't come home to your family.

I really think he would have just moved back in here if that AA leader hadn't set him and his dad straight.

I could tell he was sort of waiting for me to offer as he was complaining, but instead I told him, I hope your day gets better!!!

San Francisco

I had felt proud of my husband yesterday, but now I don't see much changing. He told me this morning he's going to San Francisco over the weekend with two of his friends. They are the same friends that he did the cocaine with on the last "boys weekend".

We are separated so that's his choice. I'm just watching his actions now to see what reality is.

But it also bothers me because I know he'll spend more money that we don't have on this trip. And if the money goes to drugs or alcohol, that is especially upsetting.

I still don't have the tires or the breaks on my car that he promised. And I still don't have the money he promised me.

And I don't know very many people who are newly sober that do well around heavy drinkers and recreational cocaine-users.

But I'm trying to forget about it and enjoy this day with my children. There might not be too many like this left.

The Fishing Pole

I am starting to get that exhausted feeling from being upset and teary-eyed all day. I'm glad we did the camping trip but it brought a lot of things to light for me.

My husband didn't bring a bike. He doesn't have a bike. Neither do i. That seems just crazy to me. We have so many things that don't matter at all but no bikes to ride with our children.

My husband rented a 2010 motor home for the trip. Needless to say it was expensive and we argued about it. He said, if he had bought all new tents and camping equipment it would have been just as expensive. But I don't think so. Not to mention that we could have borrowed it from any number of people for free. But I don't think my husband could have managed in a tent. It became apparent when we were there that he has never camped. He said he has but I don't believe it.

The first night we wanted a fire. He insisted on making it. Instead of building a fire, he put some wood in and poured lighter fluid all over it. Then we made S'mores and they tasted funny. I thought it was just the lighter fluid but I looked in the pit and there was someone's old sponge in the bottom of the fire, which he had not noticed and left in there.

The next night, I said I would make the fire while he finished up the open AA meeting. Our kids had been at a carnival for most of it bit that was over and it was clear they would not sit through the rest of it.

So I built a huge fire from scratch all by myself and the kids were quite proud of me. Lots of other boys came by for S'mores and then lots of my husbands friends came by too and I made them all S'mores. Nearly every visitor mentioned the big fire and my son said, My mom made that! My husband was clearly irritated.

My son had been asking for a new Spiderman fishing pole and I had told him no. He already had a fishing pole that my grandfather had bought him for Christmas the year before he died. He had broke part of the reel but I told him and my husband that we could just fix it and that he didn't need a new rod. It is more important to my husband that our kids like him than for them to learn the value of taking care of things or handling money. So Sunday he bought our son the new rod and was a hero for a moment.

Later that night our son told me he didn't like the new rod all that much.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Sucking it Up

I was pretty proud of my husband today. He texted me in the morning and told me he was going to be a man and I was thinking, yeah right. But when I asked him about where he was moving late afternoon, he had found a place. And I don't think it could have worked out better. A friend offered to let him stay in his home. He was hesitant because he lives with his wife so he offered another house he has that is fully furnished and empty, where he can stay for a while free of charge.

I told him I was happy that he wasn't going to try forcing living together. I don't see that going well.

Someone commented that what my father-in-law said in his email wasn't that bad. But to me, it is. I told him months ago that I was done with him but he continually ignores my boundaries. And I have been sucking it up. For years. And 5 months of rehab. And 3-4 years of heavy, unbearable drinking. So for him to say anything to me, let alone about sucking it up, is bullshit. As someone else said, he should suck it up and do something about his son.

That being said, I think this was a nice message from my husband, and the first sign that he gets it.

Good morning.

I just wanted to let you know that I too received the unsolicited e-mail.

I didn't like that it was sent, but it seems to be true was it was on the front page of the journal this morning.

I have been up thinking most of the night, and I have come up with this; I plan to make other living arrangements, our problems aren't financial, and I have been selfish in the past. I have also felt lonely, abandoned, guilty, and afraid.

Today, that ends. I am a man!

I will be making many decisions about how we will move forward (my part only).

I am tired of all the bullshit. It's time to dig out of this hole and move on.

I love my children and I will always love you as their mother, but if you want to continue to be my wife? we will both have to make a commitment to work on it. Seriously!

I hope this finds you well this morning.

I also hope that you give our family's future some consideration.

I'm done with us being stuck, both emotionally and financially!

I will be making the necessary adjustments to move us out of each. Let me know if you would like to have some input.

Love always,


The camping weekend did go fairly well until the ride home. My husband had wanted me to sit next to him on the way there, but I was tired and lay on the bed in the back. I also did not want to get into it with him and start the trip that way. He was disappointed but I think it was better. I wasn't as smart on the way home, and gave in. Almost as soon as I sat next to him, it started.

He is supposed to be out of the condo today, but I had not heard anything about it. So I asked him where he was moving to.

Then came what I sort of expected. He had not made any plans yet. He basically assumed that he could just move back home and after a wonderful weekend together, and that I would be OK with it.

I am not.

I told him that, and it just escalated from there.

I realize that our finances stink. But he is the cause of that. And I told him again, this is cause and effect. He told me he did not need my permission, that he could just move back into his house.

He started to get violently angry, yelling and waving his arms around. At one point his fist came so close to my face, I thought he would hit me. I screamed back and told him he better watch out. I said it is apparent that now that you realize that you are not going to get your way, the real you comes out.

They all seem to forget that I BOUGHT THIS HOUSE. I bought it completely on my own with my income, my money, my everything before I gave all of that up so I could raise my kids. My husband was not even on the title when the home was purchased. I was stupid. I put him on the title. I thought things would work out between us and Oregon is not a community property state. And then we borrowed more money and rolled his debt from the first rehab (while we were together) into the mortgage.

I was STUPID. Stupid, stupid, stupid. My biggest mistake has been trusting him, and his family. That is the biggest mistake of my life.

He has other options, such as living into his parents house, which would be free. Their entire lower level is unused and is the same size as their upstairs. He also could pursue less expensive options, like renting a room for $200-300 a month, instead of spending $1500 or more. But he has champagne tastes and he would never consider doing something like that.

No, instead, he and his family EXPECT me to take the brunt of everything AGAIN, to take the high road like I always have. And I just don't want to. And I don't have time to sit and argue with either one of them about it all day, which is what I assume they will try to do. So PHONE OFF. They can figure it out.

Newest Crazy Email from Father-in-law

I have not heard from my father-in-law since I told him I was done with him 2 months ago. I knew I'd hear something after the weekend. Since we met with his sponsor, the guy who runs the group, I thought it might be something positive, but he is obviously in denial. Even that man told my husband repeatedly that our problems do not stem from financial issues. He told him he was a selfish prick and didn't get it. But here is what I got from my father-in-law:

You are not the only people with difficulties. Suck it up and do the right financial thing for your family. If you are nice to each other your kids will appreciate it also. J

JULY 13, 2009 What God Has Joined Together, Recession Makes Hard to Put Asunder
For Some, the the Downturn Keeps Divorce on Ice; Ms. Brewster, Husband Share a House Divided By JENNIFER LEVITZ

Rhonda Brewster and her husband have decided they don't want to be married to each other anymore. But while they're ready to move on, they still can't move out.

They don't want to sell their home, in Huntsville, Ala., in a down market. They can't afford two households until Ms. Brewster finds steady work. So for now, they are living under the same roof but on separate floors.

The "kids are OK with it." says Ms. Brewster, a 39-year-old freelance writer and stay-at-home mother. "They just know that mommy lives upstairs and daddy lives in the basement."

Unwinding the ties of matrimony is rarely simple or inexpensive, but for many couples, the sour economy is complicating the process further.

Divorce lawyers say many couples are delaying the decision to dissolve marriages and are staying in unpleasant situations for fear of being on their own at a time of economic uncertainty. Others are being forced to live together after the divorce is final for financial convenience. That can strain the emotions and result in awkward negotiations about subjects like dating.

In Nashville, Tenn., Randy and Lori Word jointly filed for divorce in February, after 10 years of marriage, and expect to get a court date this summer. Meanwhile, they continue to share a house while Ms. Word -- who had been a stay-at-home mother in recent years -- tries to find work in marketing. "I don't see jobs out there," she says.

Things are getting a little cramped in the house. Mr. Word, a 36-year-old construction-project manager, keeps his clothes in boxes in the study and sleeps in the living room. "Luckily, we bought a very nice couch two years ago," he says.

Ms. Word, who is 37, works part time as a waitress while she is searching for full-time work. Some nights she returns home from a shift to find Mr. Word in the bed complaining that his back can't take another night on the couch -- and asking her to please sleep in the living room, which she does.

Both say they are actually getting along better now that they are no longer in an emotional marital relationship.

"We're a lot kinder to each other," says Ms. Word, adding, "We're not so offended and bothered by each other." Mr. Word says, "We've actually developed or redeveloped a friendship that I think had gotten lost a little bit."

A May survey by the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts, a national organization for financial professionals who work on divorce cases, found that the recession was delaying divorces, and inspiring "creative divorce solutions" in living arrangements.

"People are saying, 'I've put up with it for the last 10 years, I can put up with it for another year,'" says Gary Nickelson, president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. In a poll of 1,600 of its members, the group says, respondents estimated that divorce cases in the six months through March were off 40% from normal levels.

It's still unclear how the recession is affecting divorce rates overall, because of lags in government data. But courts in some major population centers say fewer people have been filing for divorce since the downturn began in late 2007. In New York County 9,349 couples filed for divorce in the first four months of 2009, off 14% from 10,848 in the same period in prerecessionary 2007, according to records from New York State Unified Court System.

In Los Angeles County, divorce filings in the first four months of this year dropped 3%, to 9,048, from the same period last year and are down 9% from the comparable span in 2007, according to records from the Los Angeles Superior Court.

A lull in divorce could be a silver lining in the recession, says Steve Grissom, president of Church Initiative, a Wake Forest, N.C., organization that runs DivorceCare, a national support group. Mr. Grissom says couples who postpone splits may be able to work through problems and reconcile.

Bonnie Hughes, a 51-year-old financial planner, says she developed stomach problems when the real-estate slump turned her marital split into "the divorce that never ends."

She and her husband divorced in February 2007, but for financial reasons continued to live together in their house in Chattanooga, Tenn., until the following May. Ms. Hughes moved out, but the ordeal wasn't over. They put the house up for sale, with each planning to use the proceeds to finance the next stages of their lives, Ms. Hughes says, but "it just wasn't selling."

They finally sold in August 2008, after dropping the price by $100,000 to $324,000, which was less than they had paid for the place four years earlier. She used her proceeds to move to Atlanta.

In Alabama, Ms. Brewster and her husband say they are avoiding complications by sticking together even as they plan to part.

The couple decided in March to split after 16 years of marriage. Ms. Brewster has hired a divorce lawyer and says she has been advised to have as little interaction as possible with her husband. Both say reconciliation isn't in the cards.

But to afford two separate households, they either need to sell the house they bought four years ago -- which they don't want to do in a down market -- or wait until Ms. Brewster has steady income.

In the meantime, Ms. Brewster lives on two floors of the house, residing with the couple's two children, plus the family pets: a guinea pig, a squirrel, a dog, two rabbits, two gerbils, five cats and five lizards.

Her husband lives in the finished basement, formerly the family's game room. "We had to take down the pool table so he'd have a place to sleep," she says. He sleeps on an air mattress, and has his own entrance and a full bathroom, though his only cooking equipment is a microwave.

Each calls the other before entering their respective domains; they schedule use of the washer and dryer and negotiate evenings out, Ms. Brewster says.

"He still takes the garbage out and mows the lawn. Sometimes, I will call him and say, 'I know you're eating frozen dinners; I cooked extra, come up,'" Ms. Brewster says. "I try to take the high road in front of the kids. Goodness knows they've seen the bad side of marriage -- the arguing."

Both have resumed dating and have even given each other advice on how to get back into the singles world. Ms. Brewster took the photograph of her husband that he put on, the online dating Web site. On some Saturday nights, she says, they hire a baby sitter so they can both go out, and they share their plans so they won't run into each other.

Their living situation has scared away some potential suitors. "It freaks a lot of them out," says Ms. Brewster. "I tell them upfront: Here's my situation. Eventually I will move on, but I'm not going to do something to mess myself up financially."

Hmm...this doesn't seem to mention a woman living with an alcoholic who doesn't come home all night long....

Should I even respond to him, or take the high road?????

Sunday, July 12, 2009


The camping trip went well overall. I have a friend who has been reminding me for years that most of my husbands issues don't stem from alcoholism but from a lack of character. I suppose I have lumped most alcoholics into the same category for a long time, but I did know what she meant on some level. My grandfather on my moms side was an alcoholic, but not at all comparable to my husband. He always provided for his family (5 kids) and was proud to do so. He had his issues for sure, but he was rarely unkind, and seldom unkind to me. (I only recall one time, and it was indirectly, when he was too drunk to even know I was there.)

I wasn't quite sure what to expect of this trip. I sorta thought they would gang up on me because it is a large group (200 plus) from the men's group my husband attends, along with his dad and brother.

I've had a lot of issues with my brother-in-law as well but I have chosen not to write on the specifics here because he is young (26, I think) and I do believe he is trying to be a better person. Someone that I respect very much also asked me to give him some grace because of everything he has endured. It has been hard sometimes, but I do try, and I did try during this trip.

But, I have to say I was nervous to spend time with him and to have my kids around him. It turned out fine. He was cordial and the kids were glad to see their uncle. They haven't spent a lot of time with him and I've never left them alone with him. But he was there with a girlfriend and we left the kids with him for an hour and a half so we could talk to the leader of this group. (More on this later.)

My husband has a friend who calls AA a "cult" and I've never understood his perspective until this weekend. I don't need someone to tell me what is right and wrong. I learned that as a child, from my parents and the rest of my family. My ethics are constantly evolving, but there is a very large foundation that my family set for me - as a child. I have been working the steps in Alanon because I am trying to be open to the program, but for the most part, it seems like things that people learn growing up, not as adults.

But I do think these programs work very well for some people. I've always thought of people in recovery as rigid and resenting not drinking. But the majority of people I know in recovery (at least well) are my husband and his family. I was pleasantly surprised by this group. I related very well to everyone. I love to camp. I grew up camping and I think there is something so special and unique about it. I didn't have any cell or email access and I really enjoyed that. It reinforced my belief that I want a simpler life.

It also did wonders for my son and his self-esteem. On the campground, he was able to roam freely on his bike or on foot. As I've said before, we don't have that luxury where we live. At first I let him go off on his bike with another man I know fairly well. He has 3 kids and I trust him implicitly. I knew the hills would be a challenge, but he reminded me that he has raised 2 boys. Apparently, he fell at the top of the hill, cried bloody murder, then realized that neither me or my husband were there to help him, got back up on rode down the hill.

In no time at all, he was riding up and down the hills by himself, or with other kids. I could see him shine.

I know on many levels, I have babied my kids. I have felt sorry for them because of their dad. But I also know that they need some tough love from other men - and that is why they spend a lot of time with my dad, and I have started them at the church. Especially with boys, I think this is so important. My husband and the men in his family have a tendency to pout. And I think that is the worst thing for a man to do. I have never seen my father or my grandfather pout. When they are upset, they deal with it like a man. And not kicking and screaming and cussing. They just work it out.

This is what I want for my son. More than anything else, I want him to be a man, and not a little boy in a man's body that doesn't know how to deal with life (on life's terms, if I may use an AA expression!).

So regardless of what happens with my husband, or anything else, this is a camp-out that I want to come back to. There is much more to write, but I will do it later.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

This Too Shall Pass

My mom used to always say this to me, and I really LOVE this songs. There were times I would just listen to it over and over and over and over again....

"This Too Shall Pass"

I've achieved so much in life,
but I'm an amateur in love
My bank account is doing just fine
but my emotions are bankrupt

My body is nice and strong
but my heart is in a million pieces
When the sun is shining so am I
but when night falls, so do my tears

Sometimes the beat is so loud in my heart
that I can barely tell our voices apart
Sometimes the fear is so loud in my head
that I can barely hear what God says

but then I hear a whisper that this too shall pass
I hear the angels whisper that this too shall pass
my ancestors whisper that this day will one day be the past
so I walk in faith that this too shall pass

The one that loved me the most
turned around and hurt me the worst
Been doing my best to move on
but the pain just keeps singing me songs

My head and my heart are at war
cause love ain't happening the way I want it
Feel like I'm about to break down
can't hear the light at the end of the tunnel
is when I pray for healing in my heart
to be put back together what is torn apart
and I pray for quiet in my head
that I can hear clearly what GOD says
but then I hear a whisper that this too shall pass
I hear the angels whisper that this too shall pass
my ancestors whisper that this day will one day be the past
so I walk in faith that this too shall pass

All of a sudden I realized
that it only hurts worst to fight it
So I embrace my shadow and hold on to the morning light

this too shall pass...

I hear the angels whisper that trouble don't have to last always
I hear the angels whisper even the day after tomorrow will one day be yesterday
I hear my angels whisper
I hear my angels whisper
this too shall pass

-India Arie

To hear the song:

Friday, July 10, 2009

Arrested Development

My husband told me yesterday that my father-in-law wants to write me a letter but he told him he didn't think he should send it to me. I don't understand either of them. My husband had told that he's written me a letter for some time now but I don't have that either. He said he wants to read it to me in front of a counselor. I said, just give me the letter! We don't need a counselor there. We already saw a counselor and he didn't read it then either. The first time he went to rehab it was the same thing. I never got a letter. He wrote his business partners a letter of amends, but I never got one. Maybe it would be easier to forgive some of this if they ever apologized for anything formally.

In any case I had another sleepless night. After thinking about it I do think I was probably too hard on my husband the other night. He doesn't have any idea about how most people have to budget and scrimp for things. Perhaps he will learn now but it's frustrating to be in this place with him now. I have been told he has arrested development from drinking at such a young age and it shows up a lot. I do think he means well most of the time. It's just like dealing with another kid except that he thinks he knows it all. His grasp on reality is completely different than mine. My parents taught me to be responsible at a young age. He was on his own so he had to grow up fast, but no one ever bothered to teach him anything.

If there was a problem they could just throw money at it. I never had that luxury so I had to always be careful. He has been careless. All his life he has been able to be careless. And at 38, it is a hard lesson to have to learn to be careful. I wish he and learned it sooner but he didn't.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Going Camping

The people who were coming to look at our house no-showed, so I don't have to worry about that for the moment...

I am getting ready to go camping for the weekend with my husband and his AA Group -with our children. Should be very interesting. My husband's brother is also going, but not his father. (They all go to the same meeting.) I have had some difficulties with the brother in the past, so I am a little anxious about that. But I just found out he was going, so I will just make the best of it. He's young and I do think he is trying.

We are staying in a pretty nice motor home so it should not be very rustic. I have fond memories of camping with my family as a child, so part of me is looking forward to it. I know the kids will enjoy the time. There will be a lot of other kids and quite a few people going. There should be some boating, fishing, campfires...all the good stuff!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Country Club

My husband and I often meet at our Club to discuss personal matters. I'm sure that is not the norm there because I often hear people listening in, but I'm at the point where I just don't give a shit.

There is nothing right in our relationship.


We argued and argued. There is childcare upstairs, and our kids love to go there, so we could argue to our hearts content.

At one point he asked me, how much have you been drinking? I started laughing. That is so ironic. The one who has been in rehab since he was 15, trying to point his finger at me like I had the problem. It's always been that way with him. When there is a problem, it is me. Me, who has been here from day one, fixing his fuck-ups.

I had had a few glasses of wine. And I told him, I am here. I have been here, waiting for you to fix what you have broken. And I hope that you prove me wrong. But until you actually DO what you say you have been saying you will do, there is NOTHING left to talk about.

Things rambled on to the point where I started talking about my dad.

I told him, I never asked you for much. I never asked for anything fancy. When I was growing up my dad worked hard. Very hard. And we didn't have everything, but we had everything we needed.

I broke off saying, You are not a are not a are not a man.

He got up and walked away.

What a "man".

I finished my wine and then rushed off after him. He had the keys and I was scared he would take the kids.

On the way home we listened to Michael Jackson. My kids have become big fans. After he died, I put on some old videos and they were instant hits. Now we have MJ playing nonstop in the car.

Billie Jean came on and I told him, this is the perfect song for you. He became even more angry. I reminded him of how he asked me if our son was his. He tried to deny it and I told him, that's why it hurts. The truth always hurts.

I told him, I should have run. I should have done my own thing. He became more and more angry. He told me to stop talking in front of the kids and I told him it was a mute point. Our daughter was asleep and we have a Suburban - so our son was in the far back-seat and the music was blaring and he couldn't hear anything. (And, it is funny how he uses that excuse when it is convenient for him, and doesn't hold true to it when he wants to call me names.)

We got to the other women and he started accusing me of other men. I told him, that is the difference between you and me. You say you have regrets, but I have none. Inside I realized that was not true. I wish I had not married him. I wish so many things. But at this point it doesn't matter.

Regrets mean nothing.

I remember my great-grandmother telling me when I became pregnant with my son that if you don't have regrets you have not lived.

I will never regret my son.

But I regret a lot of other things around my husband.

But I have learned. Painfully. I have learned. And the biggest lesson is that promises mean nothing. It is action. Action is the only thing that counts. And that has been my biggest mistake in life. I have listened to too many pretty words.

And look at my dad: he never talks. I don't recall a promise he has ever made me. But he is the biggest do-er of a man I have ever met.

Fighting and Arguments

I have been fighting a lot with my husband. I feel tired and moody. He came over last night with dinner and it all went fairly well, but then he groped my ass. I really, really hate that. I have told him that a million times. Even when we were happy I hated it. It reminds me of the sloppy moves of a 12-year-old boy. He was all offended, so I asked him, If I licked your face like a dog every time I saw you and you told me you hated it but I kept doing it anyway, would you like that?

He told me that I don't give him credit for all he has done for our family.

I asked him, If you built the most beautiful castle in the world for us, but then destroyed it, would it matter how beautiful the castle was?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Overwhelmed Today

It seems that the condo has sold. Someone bought it for cash to use primarily as a boathouse after they reduced the price. They want my husband out in a week. We have someone coming to look at our house tomorrow.

So now we must decide what to do with the living arrangements and it all feels very overwhelming.

I feel myself getting angry again. I wonder if my husband and his dad ever think about the effects of any of this on the kids. It has been traumatic when their dad doesn't come home or when he doesn't show up for things. It has been hard for the kids not to see their dad every day. I have been their source of stability and security. But so has our house. That is the only home they have known. I know it is only "a place to live" and that we need to "bring our expenses down", but moving is stressful and destabilizing. I don't know how much more I can take. I feel like I am already at my breaking point. It seems like I am the one who is taking the brunt of everything. And I am trying to stay calm and centered, but sometimes everything gets the best of me.

It also seems that there is always money for everything else. But when there is a legitimate need for the kids and I, there is no money. My dad was shocked at the condition of my tires when we drove down to the beach. The brakes are practically out too. Supposedly everything is being done this week, after I relayed my father's dismay. But there is always money for long stints at rehab, and the Beverly Hills Hotel, and my husband's expensive clothes. (Not to mention booze and cocaine.)

My husband asked about marriage counseling again and I exploded, when could I even go? I am with the kids 24 hours a day. I am "supposed to" work and make money. I am "supposed to" cook and clean and take them everywhere they need to go. If he had a decent family, I could rely on them for some help with the kids. But I can't trust them with my kids and they never offer anyway.

And I am still having to ask for money all the time. He is not giving us enough money to live on. And I suppose I am "supposed to" now find another full-time job so that there will be money to pay all the bills that he left us with. After all his carelessness and his father's spite, that is what it has come down to.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Beach House

We had a nice time at the beach with my dad and his wife. I had some time to think about my life. I never sleep well there. I'm partial to my own bed and the comfort of my house. But it gives me a lot of time to ponder.

It seems we are always running from place to place. The kids do better when they are busy (and tired). So we go to the gym every day, and Taekwondo most days. This summer there will be swimming lessons, golf lessons, soccer, basketball, multi-sport camp, gymnastics and dance camps.

We live on a hill and the cars don't always slow down (or stay off their cell phones) so the kids are not able to play outside by themselves and riding bikes is just not possible. I was remembering being a little girl and not really having many activities. We just played outside. We had a huge backyard with a play structure and a playhouse. But our street was also flat and people were slower then, so we could wander to our hearts content.

I'd like to give my kids that same pleasure. Life is expensive in the suburbs. We drive around to multiple paid-for activities and a lot of the time I just feel tired. I miss living close to the city, where I could walk places or even take the train if I wanted to. I'm tired of my big Suburban. 13 miles to the gallon...

I want to live close enough to the kids schools so they can walk or ride their bikes. And for it to be safe enough for them to do that.

It was nice being at the beach house because things are considerably slower there. They don't watch TV or computer and the streets surrounding their subdivision are very quiet. My daughter spun around on a scooter while I walked beside her. My son looked so happy riding his bike. It seems amazing that he is 6 now and this is the first time he's really had for that.

We made most of our own meals and there wasn't even a fast food restaurant to tempt the kids. At night, my dad pulled out his guitar and sang. He took my son fishing. He did all the things I remember him doing with me when I was a little girl. And when we left, I felt very sad.

I am tired of texting and email and running around. It seems time to slow down.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

There's Hope

This is such a GREAT song! I remember a few years ago when my husband started drinking again the kids and I were pretty distraught. I remember India Arie coming onto the Oprah show and performing this song. We listened to it probably 10 times on the DVR, dancing all around the living room. It really made me feel happy, which was a small miracle then. I still LOVE it!!

"There's Hope"

Back when I had a little
I thought that I needed a lot
A little was over rated,
but a lot was a little too complicated
You see-Zero didn't satisfy me
A million didn't make me happy
That's when I learned a lesson
That it's all about your perception
Hey-are you a pauper or a superstar
So you act, so you feel, so you are
It ain't about the size of your car
It's about the size of the faith in your heart

There's hope
It doesn't cost a thing to smile
You don't have to pay to laugh
You better thank God for that

There's hope

Off in the back country of Brazil
A met a young brother that made me feel
That I could accomplish anything.
You see just like me he wanted to sing
He had no windows and no doors
He lived a simple life and was extremely poor
On top of all of that he had no eye sight,
but that didn't keep him from seein' the light
He said, what's it like in the USA,
and all I did was complain
He said-livin' here is paradise
He taught me paradise is in your mind
You know that

Every time I turn on the T.V.
Somebody's acting crazy
If you let it, it will drive you crazy
but I'm takin' back my power today
Gas prices they just keep on rising
The government they keep on lying
but we gotta keep on surviving
Keep living our truth and do the best we can do

Stand up for your rights
Keep shining your light
And show the world your smile

-India Arie

To see her perfom this song:

Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy Fourth of July

I'm headed to the beach for Fourth of July with the kids. It is our tradition to stay with my dad and his wife at their home there. My husband will not be going this year. Last year, he was at Betty Ford, and the year before was when it was apparent he was drinking again. I took the kids down early and he was supposed to meet us after work. He did not show up for dinner. My dad's wife wondered if she should keep his food out. We did. I stayed up well past midnight, upset. My parents stayed up pretty late too. I could hear them whispering in the other room. My husband didn't show up until afternoon the next day. It was a hard trip. No one really recovered from that.

I know my husband is sad to be not invited this year, but honestly I feel some relief. I am looking forward to a very relaxing weekend with my family.

Kahlil Gibran on Love

When love beckons to you, follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams
as the north wind lays waste the garden.

For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,
So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.

Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.
He threshes you to make you naked.
He sifts you to free you from your husks.
He grinds you to whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant;
And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God's sacred feast.

All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life's heart.

But if in your fear you would seek only love's peace and love's pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love's threshing-floor,
Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.
Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.
Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;
For love is sufficient unto love.

When you love you should not say, "God is in my heart," but rather, "I am in the heart of God."
And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.

Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love's ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.

(This poem was also recited at my wedding by my sister - still a favorite.)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Fairy Tales

I realized the other day that am still waiting for my fairy tale to come true. And looking at my life and all the others around me I should have realized a long time ago that was never going to happen. I need to take control of my own life.

And I need to consider the wider the impact of all the Barbie and Princess books my daughter loves so much will have in her life. (No, I did NOT buy these! But she has received them as gifts and LOVES them!!)

My daughter is a VERY strong girl. Truly, I wish I had her strength. But I wonder what our culture will squelch in her - and what impressions my own thoughts on life have made on her.

This is a hard thing for me. I consider myself a feminist. (Women-studies minor in college). And yet, my own upbringing was very traditional. While it wasn't always happy, I have found myself striving for that same model in my own life. Even when there was never chance of that working out long-term.

I've told several of my younger friends not to ever give up their financial independence. Which I still wish I had not done. But it is also such a trade-off - and one I wish no one had to make.

I have enjoyed my kids, thoroughly. I am still saddened by the first year of my son's life. I was working way too much and unable to stay home with him. And sometimes I almost feel like I want to have another baby - not because I want another baby per say, but just so I can somehow recapture that time.

But the truth is, that time is gone and I have to make my peace with it.

I remember an exercise my counselor tried with me many years ago about seeing things as they are instead of how we want them to be. I don't think I was ready for that then. But I'm slowly beginning to see that I need to be ready now.

Let's Call the Whole Thing Off

A friend forwarded me a very interesting article the other day from The Atlantic. It's about marriage and divorce - really one of the most intriguing things I have read in a while.

Let's call the whole thing off
The author is ending her marriage. Isn't it time you did the same?


Hate destroys the spirit of those who hate. Father Rafiq Khoury

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I think I forgave him

Something interesting has happened. Not sure if it was the poem or the photo albums or listening to You Can Heal your Life for the millionth time but I just realized that I don't really feel any sort of anger towards my father-in-law.

I put on the CD again the other day because I was feeling very stuck and didn't have time to sit down and read the book again. At least one thing I can say is between all the audio books in my car - A New Earth and all others Tolle CDs there are, Jerry and Ester Hicks, Louise Hay, Tony Robbins....the kids should be getting some of this stuff much earlier than I did. I think Tony Robbins says, "Repetition is the mother of character".

Haye says you don't have to know how to forgive. You just have to be willing to do it. I have been saying a lot of meditations around that and it never seemed to have work. But today I finally feel free.